Today during a call with Mr. Ingebretsen discussing a project, we had plotted who would be the dev lead, who would be the design lead and who would be the dev/design/wireframe/glue lead. I said “I’ll be that guy”, the “glue” guy.
In the past, as a small startup style guy I’ve often played the role of the “every man”. Code, design, project planning, pm, mascot, evangelist, interface, media, graphics, lead, tech writer, trainer, booth babe, conference goer and other miscellaneous jobs.
Its been certainly an interesting, educational and entertaining time.
Since recently leaving Microsoft, I’ve been reevaluating my professional life. This includes technology, project and work focus as well as usage of social media and my blog. My last job at Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist had a strong influence on all of these aspects and now that I’ve moved on, I have the opportunity to start fresh.
Here’s my current thinking:
Technology – Part of the fun of becoming “independent” is you get to choose the best tool for the job. At this point I want to be proficient in all of the major UI technologies in order to use the right tool for the project. I also feel this helps open my mind more when I can step in and out of different ways of thinking.
Projects – I’ve always been more of a “web guy” and that isn’t going away. Silverlight and Flash are great, and with the onset of HTML5 (and the tech surrounding it) I see that continuing to be a place of interest when focusing on projects that need “reach”. Otherwise, I’m enjoying native WPF or iOS applications for projects aiming for the richest experience, including mobile projects.
Work – I most enjoy working right in the middle of development and design. “Design whatever you want, and I’ll make it work.” “Get the services and data in place, and I’ll send them to the user.” Those are phrases I’d like to say on every project with abandon. I am planning to hone my skills more, though, on interface design and visual communication.
Recently after reading Clive Thompson’s on the Power of Visual Thinking, I was reminded of my interest in “visual thinking” and the ideas spread by the likes of Dan Roam. I love to draw and the power of an illustration, why am I not spending more time doing this?
Social Media and Blogging – my past behaviors in this area were very tailored by my previous position. Am I posting or tweeting at the most effective time of the day? Am I posting a tutorial that enough people will find helpful?
I still enjoy being helpful and learning from others, but I’m hoping to add a bit more personality, creative recklessness and randomness into what I do online.
I like the idea of not caring so much about numbers and “geek-fame”.
I like the idea of sharing ideas and ways of thinking and not just tutorials.
I like the idea of trying to do something different.
So to begin my plan, I opened up and wrote this post, which does not fit into previous recent posts. I’ve also included a related sketch. The sketch is not inked, left unfinished and barely touched up in Photoshop. But it is different, fun and its not being posted during the most effective time of the day.